Three Palestinian Students Shot in Suspected Hate Crime in Vermont

Three Palestinian students were shot in Vermont. (Photo: via social media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The students were reportedly all wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh when they were attacked.

A suspect was arrested on Sunday following the shooting of three Palestinian students near a university campus in Vermont in the United States, according to media reports. 

In a statement, the Burlington police announced that Jason J Eaton, 48, was arrested Sunday afternoon near the crime scene. 

“The victims – Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, all 20 years old – are undergraduate students at Brown University, Haverford College and Trinity College respectively, and were on their way to Awartani’s grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner when a white man with a handgun fired on them,” the British Guardian newspaper reported. 

According to the police, two students are reportedly in stable condition, but the third received “much more serious injuries” in the spinal cord. 

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said on X: “We have reason to believe that the shooting was motivated by the three [victims] being Arab.”

The students were reportedly all wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh when they were attacked.

In a statement, the families of the three students said that they were “devastated by the horrific news.”

They called “on law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation, including treating this as a hate crime.”. 

The incident comes amid a reported rise in Islamophobia in the United States, following the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza on October 7. 

According to a report published in Voice of America on November 17, “the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights organization, reports an ‘unprecedented surge in bigotry’ since the war started.”

“Between October 7 and November 4, the group received 1,283 requests for help and complaints of anti-Muslim or anti-Arab bias, an increase of 216% over an average 29-day period last year,” the report also said adding: 

“CAIR said more than 15% of complaints fielded by its national office involved alleged hate crimes.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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